In an attempt to get out the vote on Election Day, Quantico Tactical in Woodbridge, VA handed out free 30-round AR-15 magazines to anyone who showed a Virginia voter ID or active duty military ID. A post on the gun shop’s Facebook page advertised, “No Strings Attached – No Purchase Necessary.”
It’s illegal to give out free rewards for voting, as it’s considered electioneering under federal law — which probably explains why the magazine giveaway was not explicitly tied to proof of voting. According to Capitol City Project, there was a line of people at the store waiting to claim their free magazine.
Even with this incentive for gun-owning voters, gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli II still lost the election. Cuccinelli touted his pro-gun stance often on the campaign trail, even boasting about his “A” NRA rating during a speech at Virginia Tech, the site of the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history.
High-capacity magazines are hotly debated after each new shooting, as they’ve enabled shooters to spray as many bullets as possible before having to reload. Adam Lanza, who gunned down 26 people at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT, used numerous 30-round magazines to fire 155 bullets in less than five minutes. However, attempts to ban these magazines have repeatedly failed on the national level.
Seven states, many municipalities, and Washington, DC, ban or restrict the sale of high-capacity magazines. However, gun advocates and sellers have worked to render these laws toothless. Just before Colorado’s ban on high-capacity magazine sales kicked in this summer, one popular manufacturer gave away 1,500 such magazines for free and sold 18,500 more for $10 each.